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Match report

More shock and awe from FC Barcelona

January 10th, 2011

FC Barcelona retain their two point lead over real Madrid after both teams won their respective matches over the weekend.

Visiting Deportivo on Saturday night, the hosts seemed to hardly get involved with the match, despite the absence of Xavi, Alves as Busquets who were all being rested by Guardiola. That said, Barça scored just one goal in the first half, when Villa put the ball between the keeper’s legs off a Messi assist.

That changed just a few minutes into the second half, when Messi scored a fantastic goal from a free kick. And soon after the home fans, resigned to another Barça victory, started chanting Iniesta’s name. He soon responded with a goal of his own, quickly followed up by Messi setting up a goal for Pedro.

The 4-0 win was well deserved and just to underline how good this squad is the FIFA Ballon d’Or, which will be decided later today, is certain to go to a Barça player – the three candidates are Messi, Xavi and Iniesta.

0-1, Villa (min 26)
0-2, Messi (min 52)
0-3, Iniesta (Min 79)
0-4, Pedro (min 80)

TeamPWDLFAPts
1
Barcelona
18
16
1
1
57
10
49
2
Real Madrid
18
15
2
1
46
16
47
3
Villarreal
18
11
3
4
34
18
36
4
Valencia
18
10
4
4
27
20
34
5
Espanyol
18
10
1
7
23
24
31
6
Atlético Madrid
17
8
3
6
27
19
27
7
Getafe
18
8
3
7
28
25
27
8
Mallorca
18
8
3
7
23
21
27
9
Athletic Bilbao
18
8
2
8
27
30
26
10
Sevilla
18
8
2
8
25
29
26
11
Real Sociedad
18
7
1
10
25
31
22
12
Deportivo
18
5
6
6
15
24
21
13
Racing Santander
18
5
5
8
14
24
20
14
Hércules
17
5
4
8
18
25
19
15
Osasuna
18
4
6
8
15
21
18
16
Málaga
18
5
2
11
23
37
17
17
Levante
18
4
3
11
19
29
15
18
Sporting Gijón
18
2
7
9
15
27
13
19
Almería
18
2
7
9
16
31
13
20
Zaragoza
18
2
7
9
16
32
13

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Barça through to Copa del Rey quarter-final

January 6th, 2011

FC Barcelona drew with Athletic de Bilbao last night to ean their place in the Copa del Rey quater-final. Abidal scored Barcelona’s only goal, the first he has scored for the club. However, the hosts equalised 5 minutes from the end ending in a 1-1l draw, but letting Barcelona go through thanks to the 0-0 draw at the Nou Camp before Christmas.

0-1, Abidal (min 75)
1-1, Llorente (min 85)


Barça takes 3 points against Levante

January 4th, 2011

Xavi equalled the record for the number of appearances for FC Barcelona on Sunday when Levante visited the Nou Camp for the first match of 2011. Xavi has now matched Migueli’s 549 appearances, having played in the first team for 13 seasons.

However, after some of the massive pre-Christmas goal-fests, the New Year seems to have put a bit of a dampner on things. While it is true that the squad was missing Leo Messi, who had been granted some extra days holiday over Christmas, they did struggle to get through to Levante’s goal.

The result was a goalless first half, although Pedro was quick to rectify this situation when they came on after the break – he scored after just a minute. Pedro also scored Barça’s second goal just 12 minutes later, his eighth goal in eight matches. And to make sure it didn’t all go Barcelona’s way, Stuani scored for Levante just nine minutes from time.

The win leaves Barcelona two points ahead of Real Madrid after their 3-2 win over Getafe yesterday.

1-0 Pedro (min 46)
2-0 Pedro (min 58)
2-1 Stuani (min 81)

TeamPWDLFAPts
1
Barcelona
17
15
1
1
53
10
46
2
Real Madrid
17
14
2
1
42
14
44
3
Villarreal
17
11
3
3
32
14
36
4
Valencia
17
9
4
4
26
20
31
5
Espanyol
17
9
1
7
19
24
28
6
Atlético Madrid
17
8
3
6
27
19
27
7
Getafe
17
8
2
7
28
25
26
8
Athletic Bilbao
17
8
1
8
26
29
25
9
Mallorca
17
7
3
7
19
20
24
10
Sevilla
17
7
2
8
22
27
23
11
Real Sociedad
17
7
1
9
23
28
22
12
Deportivo
17
5
6
5
15
20
21
13
Hércules
17
5
4
8
18
25
19
14
Racing Santander
17
5
4
8
13
23
19
15
Osasuna
17
4
5
8
15
21
17
16
Málaga
17
5
1
11
22
36
16
17
Levante
17
4
3
10
19
28
15
18
Zaragoza
17
2
7
8
16
28
13
19
Almería
17
2
7
8
15
27
13
20
Sporting Gijón
17
2
6
9
14
26
12

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Goalless draw for Barça in Copy del Rey

December 22nd, 2010

After a series of spectacular wins involving goals galore, the inevitable happened last night at the Nou Camp; a goalless draw against Athletic de Bilbao.

The match was for the Copa del Rey, so not vitally important, but it is a reminder that however good a team is, it is the end result matters. The return takes place in two weeks.


Round one of the Barcelona derby goes to Barça

December 20th, 2010

It doesn’t seem that long ago since I was wondering if Barça would really be able to step up their game and compete with Real Madrid for the Spanish League title. Coincidentally, that was the moment that Barça DID really start to get things together and the following matches have seen an astounding number of goals, including against their arch-rival.

Following that comment, Barcelona beat Sevilla 5-0; they then went on to beat Getafe and Villarreal 3-1 each; then 8-0 against Almeria; 5-0 against Real Madrid; 3-1 with Osasuna; 5-0 again against Real Sociedad; and now 5-1 in theBcelona derby on Saturday night. The goal tally has been astounding and Barça’s reputation must strike fear into any team the play at the moment – I pity the poor goalkeepers in particular.

In theory Espanyol should have been a fairly tough match, but other teams with an even better reputation have been dropping like flies against this new Barcelona dream team, so why should this be an exception? Perhaps the most unusual feature of the match on Saturday was the lack of goals from Messi; I can’t wait until the league gets going again right at the beginning of the new year to see how this season will play out.

0-1, Pedro (min 19
0-2, Xavi (min 30)
0-3, Pedro (min 60)
1-3, Osvaldo (min 62)
1-4, Villa (min 75)
1-5, Villa (min 84)

TeamPWDLFAPts
1
Barcelona
16
14
1
1
51
9
43
2
Real Madrid
16
13
2
1
39
12
41
3
Villarreal
16
10
3
3
30
14
33
4
Valencia
16
8
4
4
24
19
28
5
Espanyol
16
9
1
6
18
22
28
6
Atlético Madrid
16
8
2
6
27
19
26
7
Getafe
16
8
2
6
26
22
26
8
Athletic Bilbao
16
8
1
7
25
27
25
9
Real Sociedad
16
7
1
8
22
26
22
10
Mallorca
16
6
3
7
16
20
21
11
Sevilla
16
6
2
8
21
27
20
12
Hércules
15
5
3
7
18
22
18
13
Deportivo
16
4
6
5
13
19
18
14
Osasuna
16
4
5
7
15
20
17
15
Racing Santander
15
5
2
8
13
23
17
16
Levante
16
4
3
9
18
26
15
17
Almería
16
2
7
7
15
25
13
18
Málaga
16
4
1
11
20
35
13
19
Sporting Gijón
16
2
6
8
13
24
12
20
Zaragoza
16
1
7
8
14
27
10

Barça demolishes Real Sociedad

December 13th, 2010

FC Barcelona continued to demolish of the rest of La Liga, with another spectacular victory last night. This time they faced Real Sociedad, and once again the score was 5-0.

The first goal came in the eighth minute from David Villa, but Barça kept on the pressure to go 2-0 up by half time. Back on after the break was an almost immediate goal from Leo Messi; and then it took until close to the end to see two more goals in rapid succession, with another from Messi in minute 86, and a final goal in the 90th from Bojan.

Barcelona remain two points ahead of Real Madrid, who won their match against Real Zaragoza. The Catalans will be looking for Madrid to lose some points soon and allow them to open up the gap as the first half of the season draws to a close in mid of January.

1-0 Villa (min 8 )
2-0 Iniesta (min 32)
3-0 Messi (min 46)
4-0 Messi (min 86)
5-0 Bojan (min 90)

TeamPWDLFAPts
1
Barcelona
15
13
1
1
46
8
40
2
Real Madrid
15
12
2
1
38
12
38
3
Villarreal
15
9
3
3
27
13
30
4
Espanyol
15
9
1
5
17
17
28
5
Valencia
14
7
3
4
19
15
24
6
Atlético Madrid
15
7
2
6
24
19
23
7
Getafe
15
7
2
6
23
20
23
8
Athletic Bilbao
15
7
1
7
23
26
22
9
Real Sociedad
15
7
1
7
21
24
22
10
Mallorca
15
6
3
6
15
17
21
11
Sevilla
15
6
2
7
21
26
20
12
Hércules
15
5
3
7
18
22
18
13
Deportivo
15
4
5
5
12
18
17
14
Racing Santander
15
5
2
8
13
23
17
15
Osasuna
14
4
3
7
12
17
15
16
Levante
15
4
3
8
17
24
15
17
Almería
15
2
7
6
13
22
13
18
Málaga
15
4
1
10
20
32
13
19
Sporting Gijón
15
2
5
8
12
23
11
20
Zaragoza
15
1
6
8
14
27
9

Air traffic controllers fail to dent Barça’s talent

December 6th, 2010

One of the casualties of an unplanned strike by air traffic controllers timed to cause disruption on Spain’s long weekend was FC Barcelona, who had planned on flying to Navarra for their match against Osasuna.

Despite being in contact with the Spanish League, when it became apparent that Barça would not be able to fly at all, Pep Guardiola was told that if they didn’t play they would lose three points. And so the squad made a gruelling trip by bus and train, arriving at the stadium with just an hour to go.

And while the match started late, with Barça’s preparation ruined, once again they played to win. Pedro took the first goal in the 26th minute, while Messi scored his first in the 65th. And again in the 82nd from the penalty spot.

0-1 Pedro (min 26)
0-2 Messi (min 65)
0-3 Messi (p)(min 37)

TeamPWDLFAPts
1
Barcelona
14
12
1
1
41
8
37
2
Real Madrid
14
11
2
1
35
11
35
3
Villarreal
14
9
3
2
27
12
30
4
Espanyol
14
9
1
4
16
15
28
5
Valencia
14
7
3
4
19
15
24
6
Real Sociedad
14
7
1
6
21
19
22
7
Mallorca
14
6
3
5
15
16
21
8
Atlético Madrid
14
6
2
6
22
19
20
9
Getafe
14
6
2
6
22
20
20
10
Sevilla
14
6
2
6
20
23
20
11
Athletic Bilbao
14
6
1
7
21
25
19
12
Osasuna
14
4
3
7
12
17
15
13
Hércules
13
4
3
6
14
20
15
14
Deportivo
13
3
5
4
11
16
14
15
Levante
14
4
2
8
16
23
14
16
Racing Santander
14
4
2
8
12
23
14
17
Málaga
14
4
1
9
19
28
13
18
Sporting Gijón
14
2
4
8
11
22
10
19
Almería
14
1
7
6
10
21
10
20
Zaragoza
14
1
6
7
13
24
9

El clasico 2010 – the shame of Real Madrid

November 30th, 2010

FC Barcelona v Real Madrid is probably the biggest fixture of the year worldwide, and while it always has a huge build-up it is sometimes quite a let down.

That wasn’t the case last night though, particularly if you are a Barça fan. While the Catalans came on to play the beautiful game, the visitors showed what happens when you hire a bunch of expensive thugs who have no idea what sportsmanship is.

And that was nowhere better demonstrated by Cristiano Ronaldo, who was bought for talent that he can never show when the odds are too high and behaves like a petulant prima dona when things don’t go his way.

Such as when he took the ball from Pep Guardiola and pushed him back around 30 minutes in – honestly, I know tensions run high but was that in any way necessary. I’m not condoning violence at football matches, but if I’d been in Guardiola’s place I think I would have decked him.

Okay, so now I have that off my chest….

It was a pretty miserable night from the point of view of the weather – cold and raining and nobody likes much to be out in that, but support for Barça – particularly on a Monday night – was outstanding. Perhaps it was something to do with the Catalan elections on Sunday, perhaps it was simply the event itself, but people were going out of their way to ignore the rain as best they could and support Barcelona.

The team went on with one intention – to beat Real Madrid, and they showed how intent they were to do that from the start. Messi came close in minute six, but Xavi put an Iniesta assist into the goal just four minutes later to open up the scoring. Seven minutes later it was Villa’s pass to Pedro that put the hosts 2-0 up.

That’s when Real Madrid really started to show how nasty they can be, with Ronaldo’s push of Guardiola at around the half hour mark. That earned him a yellow card, but the scuffles on pitch afterwards looked like the ref might start showing the red. In the end it was only Victor Valdes who earned a yellow.

A few minutes later when Valdes tangled directly with Ronaldo in the Barça area it looked like the visitors would be awarded a penalty. When it wasn’t given, Valdes just laughed in the face of his opponent. And what happened at the end of the first half? Leo Messi was clearly elbowed in the face, but it was him that was shown the yellow card!

After the break there was no let up for Barça. In the 54th minute David Villa scored his first; and three minutes later he did it again! Did I imagine it or had Jose Mourinho said that Villa can’t score??!!.. Oh yeah? Mourinho’s sour look on the bench told a story – his face had been well and truly rubbed in the dirt.

4-0 good enough for Barça? Not when it can be 5-0, as Jeffren made it right at the end. And when the stadium was just waiting for the fat lady, Ramos was shown a red for completely unnecessary behaviour and started pushing Puyol, Xavi and other players around. Umm… aren’t you supposed to be team mates in the Spanish selection, Ramos?

At 63% possession, Barça looked like they were playing a second rate team, not against so-called galacticos, thereby leapfrogging them in the league.

Conclusion?

Barça walked all over Madrid in the first half and after scoring the first two goals they simply tried dirty play to put Barça off their stride and break their flow. Real Madrid – you really ought to be ashamed. At least Jose Mourinho was suitably humbled after the match and said that Barça deserved to win.

And man of the match – definitely Cristiano Ronaldo, but for all the wrong reasons. He is a disgrace.

1-0, Xavi (min 10)
2-0, Pedro (min 17)
3-0, Villa (min 54)
4-0, Villa (min 57)
5-0, Jeffren (min 91)

TeamPWDLFAPts
1
Barcelona
13
11
1
1
38
8
34
2
Real Madrid
13
10
2
1
33
11
32
3
Villarreal
13
8
3
2
26
12
27
4
Espanyol
13
8
1
4
15
15
25
5
Valencia
13
7
3
3
19
13
24
6
Mallorca
13
6
3
4
15
13
21
7
Atlético Madrid
13
6
2
5
22
17
20
8
Sevilla
13
6
2
5
20
22
20
9
Real Sociedad
13
6
1
6
19
19
19
10
Athletic Bilbao
13
6
1
6
21
23
19
11
Getafe
13
5
2
6
19
20
17
12
Osasuna
13
4
3
6
12
14
15
13
Hércules
13
4
3
6
14
20
15
14
Deportivo
13
3
5
4
11
16
14
15
Racing Santander
13
4
2
7
11
19
14
16
Levante
13
3
2
8
14
23
11
17
Sporting Gijón
13
2
4
7
11
21
10
18
Málaga
13
3
1
9
15
27
10
19
Almería
13
1
6
6
9
20
9
20
Zaragoza
13
1
5
7
12
23
8

Barça through to next round of Champions League

November 25th, 2010

FC Barcelona’s 3-0 win against Panathinaikos ensured they go through to the next round of Champions League. This is another confidence booster ahead of the clash with Real Madrid on Monday, the biggest match in the European footballing calendar.

0-1 Pedro (min 26)
0-2 Messi (min 62)
0-3 Pedro (min 69)


Barça equals best ever score

November 22nd, 2010

Normally Real Madrid would have been happy with a 5-1 win ahead of “el classic” next Monday night. However Barcelona’s astounding 8-0 win against Almeria – the result equals their best ever score against Mallorca in 1959 – takes more than a little shine off Madrid’s result.

Not only have Barça received a massive confidence boost ahead of matches against Panathinaikos and Real Madrid in the next 8 days but at least a little of the swagger must have been taken out of Cristiano Ronaldo and co.

Leo Messi was his usual superb self and added another hat-trick to his tally of goals this season. Iniesta, Pedro, Bojan (2) and an own goal accounted for Barça’s other goals, which now puts Barcelona’s tally level with Real Madrid at 33.

It has clearly become a two horse race for the Spanish league title – third place Villarreal have just 24 points compared with 32 and 31 from Madrid and Barça.

0-1 Messi (min 16)
0-2 Iniesta (min 18)
0-3 Acasiete (own goal, min 26)
0-4 Pedro (min 35)
0-5 Messi (min 36)
0-6 Bojan (min 62)
0-7 Messi (min 67)
0-8 Bojan (min 72)

TeamPWDLFAPts
1
Real Madrid
12
10
2
0
33
6
32
2
Barcelona
12
10
1
1
33
8
31
3
Villarreal
12
7
3
2
23
12
24
4
Espanyol
12
7
1
4
12
13
22
5
Valencia
12
6
3
3
17
12
21
6
Atlético Madrid
12
6
2
4
20
14
20
7
Sevilla
12
6
2
4
19
19
20
8
Mallorca
12
5
3
4
13
13
18
9
Real Sociedad
12
5
1
6
16
18
16
10
Athletic Bilbao
12
5
1
6
20
23
16
11
Osasuna
12
4
3
5
12
13
15
12
Deportivo
12
3
5
4
11
15
14
13
Getafe
11
4
1
6
15
18
13
14
Hércules
12
3
3
6
11
19
12
15
Levante
12
3
2
7
13
20
11
16
Racing Santander
12
3
2
7
10
19
11
17
Sporting Gijón
12
2
4
6
10
18
10
18
Málaga
12
3
1
8
15
25
10
19
Almería
12
1
6
5
8
18
9
20
Zaragoza
11
1
4
6
11
19
7
win ahead of the classic next amonday night. However barcelonas astounding 8-0 win means that a little if the shine was taken off Madrids result and they must go forward with a little of the swagger taken out of ronaldo and co.


Check the scores

Leo Messi was his usual superb self.

On wednesday Barça face xxxxxx in champions league while Madrid plays WHO. That should even out the workload a bit.

Two horse race after Valencia and Villarreal fell back.

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